When are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping

Authored by: Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm

Categories: Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Peacekeeping
Year: 2020
Citation: Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm, "When are Women Deployed? Operational Uncertainty and Deployment of Female Personnel to UN Peacekeeping," International Peacekeeping, 2020.

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This study explores how the duration of missions affects the participation of women in United Nations (UN) peace operations. The author argues that women are less likely to be deployed in the early stages of missions because new missions are associated with high levels of operational uncertainty, which is ultimately a type of risk. Instead, women’s participation will increase over time as the uncertainty decreases and the operating environment becomes more predictable. In an extended analysis, the author also explores if the level of gender equality in a troop contributing country affects the decision to deploy women to the early phases of missions. Applying a large-N approach, the author studies the proportion of women in military contributions to UN peace operations between 2009 and 2015. Using a set of multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear models, the main argument find empirical support. However, when the robustness of the findings is challenged, there is indication that there could be additional factors that affect operational uncertainty and the perceived risk associated with an operating environment. The result of the extended analysis indicate that more gender equal countries are more prone to deploy larger proportions of female military personnel, regardless of when the deployment takes place.